Helpful Math Hints for SSAT Prep! Part 1

Studying for the SSAT

If you are writing the SSAT this fall, you are probably studying like mad for the quantitative section (aka the math section)!  There are two quantitative sections, with 25 question each. Each question is multiple choice with 5 options. Whatever you do, don’t completely guess, as you are deducted 1/4 of a mark for each incorrect answer.

We have a few helpful hints to guide you through the quantitative section that we’re sharing today, and we’ll share the rest next week!

Read Carefully and Underline Key Words

The questions in the SSAT can be tricky, so take a moment to make sure that you realize what the question is asking. Underlining key words will help you ensure that know what is important.  For example:

Read Carefully and Underline Key Words

In this question, it is important to underline what the question is really asking. That way you know that you will need to add the digits together, (2+8+1 = 11), and then multiply the digits (2 x 8 x 1 = 16), in order to determine how much less” (16-11=5). The answer must be D!

Eliminate Choices That Are Obviously Wrong

Sometimes at a glace you can see the obviously wrong answers. We suggest that you eliminate them from your answer options. For example,

Eliminate Obviously Wrong Answer

For a question like this one, we need to think about what we know. If a pizza costs $12, we can eliminate the answers that can be divided by 12, because a school can be all sorts of sizes, and perhaps not all kids ordered. The answer must be (D) because 254 isn’t a multiple of 12 and therefore it can’t be the cost.

Watch the Clock and Stay Focused

Watch the Clock

As there are 25 questions in each quantitative section, and you only have 30 minutes for each section, you have to work fast. Don’t spend too much time on one question – you really only have about 1 minute for each. There is no harm in skipping a question, with hopes that you can come back to it. Just don’t guess!  There will always be a clock in the room where you write, so that will help you to monitor the time. Some students like to make time estimations per page. For example, if there are 5 questions on the page, give yourself 5 minutes and then move on.

Staying focused can be tricky, especially on such a long test (3 hours!). If you are finding that you can’t concentrate, take a minute to close your eyes and take some deep, calming breaths. This is a great way to re-focus and conquer the rest!

If you are writing the SSAT this fall and would like to get some more helpful hints and great advice, contact us at Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space. We have qualified Learning Specialists that will teach you the best strategies to conquer the SSAT! We also have an awesome SSAT preparation workbook to help you master the skills and strategies for the Middle Level SSAT.

Rumack's SSAT Workbook Cover